ALBANY — With cases of the COVID-19 virus having been confirmed locally and the safety of attendees, vendors and employees a primary concern, officials with The Albany Herald and AlbanyHerald.com have chosen to postpone Saturday’s second Southwest Georgia Home, Garden & Outdoor Expo, scheduled at the Albany Civic Center.
Herald President Scot Morrissey made the announcement. He later confirmed, after talking with officials at the Albany Civic Center, that the expo would be rescheduled for Aug. 29.
“With the directive from the CDC calling for social distancing and for older citizens not to go out any more than is necessary, we thought the prudent thing to do was to postpone the event so that we did not in any way put the community at risk,” Morrissey said. “The safety of the community, our advertising partners and our employees is the priority.
“I want to stress that we are not cancelling the expo, only postponing it. After talking with Spectra officials, we were able to lock down the Aug. 29 date, in that sweet spot before the college football season starts.”
Local health care and public officials announced Wednesday that individuals with confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus had been or were currently being treated at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
Morrissey said that excitement about the expo had ramped up in recent days, with 42 businesses and nonprofits planning to set up booths at the Home, Garden & Outdoor Expo.
“There was no directive from city officials (to postpone the expo),” Morrissey said. “We just thought that, at this time, it was the prudent thing to do.”
Herald officials worked with Civic Center manager Spectra Entertainment to reschedule the expo.
“At this time, we are working hand in hand with The Albany Herald to reschedule the Southeast Georgia Home, Garden, and Outdoor Expo scheduled for this Saturday,” Flint River Entertainment Complex Director Josh Small said before confirming the Aug. 29 date.